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That grisly bone injury from the weekend? UIC doc says Ware could actually bounce back

April 01, 2013|By Adam Lukach, @lucheezy | RedEye

Kevin Ware's tibia fracture during Sunday's Louisville-Duke game was a gruesome injury and a sad one. Though his teammates rallied around him and defeated the Blue Devils to earn a trip to the Final Four, Ware will miss the rest of his sophomore season because of the compound fracture.

As jeopardizing and serious as the injury looked, Ware was reportedly moving around on crutches already today. That's not unusual, said Dr. Mark Hutchinson, an orthopedic surgeon and head team physician at UIC Hospital. While he didn't know the specifics of Ware's case, he said standard procedure is an immediate surgery to place a rod down the middle of the lower leg with screws at the top and bottom.

"The good news is it didn't break into the joint. If that happens, then they run the risk of arthritis and other problems," he said. "If it heals, it generally is not a long term issue at all. He should do fine."

If Ware was an NBA prospect before the injury, it shouldn't affect that status from a medical perspective, Hutchinson added. The recovery rate from an injury like this is between 95 and 99 percent, and he should be able to start moving around again after a 2- or 3-month recovery, followed by rehabilitation.

What leads to many nasty bone breaks like that, Hutchinson said, is usually a stress fracture or some other kind of irritance that has been building up for months. He pointed to that as a possible reason for Ware's injury.

"I'd just like to send a message that, if you have a focal pain, where you can feel 'That spot kills me,' and you can cover it with one finger, you should have that checked out," he said. "As far as the potential to have a catastrophic industry like this, people thinking, 'Could it ever happen to me?' Unlikely, and if it did, you would probably have a hint.

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